- The Chinese prepare for the end of the world on Friday (today)
- United Nations approves military intervention in Mali
- Interest rate fixing probe expands into Asia
The Chinese prepare for the end of the world on Friday (today)
Liu Qiyuan and his 'tsunami survival pod' in China's Hebei province
Many people around the world believe that the world is coming to an
end on Friday, thanks to an ancient Mayan calendar and to thousands of
doomsday web sites. According to polls, 20% of the population believe
this in China, whereas 22% believing it in the United States.
Chinese have been panic-buying candles and other supplies because of
rumors that the doomsday will begin with total darkness. (It's not
clear to me why you need candles if the world is going to end.) China
has arrested over 450 people for spreading rumors about the imminent
One Chinese entrepreneur, Liu Qiyuan, a former
furniture-maker, now builds "survival pods," with a capacity of 14
people each, to survive 100-foot high tsunamis. However, Master
Yancan, a Buddhist abbot in Cangzhou, says, "I suggest we nominate
December 21 as World Humor Day to commemorate the humor of the Mayans.
Why bother to believe rumors such as this? Just enjoy your life."
United Nations approves military intervention in Mali
The United Nations Security Council has authorized military
intervention in Mali. They aim to recapture the northern 2/3rds of the country,
which has fallen into the hands of several terrorist groups linked to
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
UNSC members voted
unanimously on Thursday to approve the resolution to restore peace and
protect human rights in Mali. The resolution passed on pressure from
France, which fears that if AQIM establishes a firm stronghold in
northern Mali, it will be used as a base to launch terrorist
attacks on Algeria and Europe, particularly France.
However, most UNSC
members really aren't too anxious to endorse military action in Mali,
and so the resolution sets no time frame and no implementation plan,
except a vague expectation that the troops will be provided by ECOWAS,
the Economic Community of West African States.
Interest rate fixing probe expands into Asia
As we reported
Department of Justice has brought charges against the Japanese
subsidiary of the Swiss bank UBS AG for falsely influencing
international interest rates (Libor) in order to defraud investors.
The UBS charges have served as a wake-up call to investigative
agencies in several Asian companies, including the Hong Kong Monetary
Authority and Japan’s Financial Services Agency.
These agencies are
opening a probe into Asian subsidiaries of other European banks,
including Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Barclays, UBS, Deutsche Bank
AG, and Rabobank Groep. According to one analyst, Asian prosecuters
are more willing to send crooked bankers to jail, unlike Eric Holder and the Obama Justice Department; the White House has refused to
investigate and send bankers to jail, even in the face of massive
evidence of criminal fraud, presumably because these bankers
contribute a lot of campaign money to President Obama.
these years, not a single American bank employee has been jailed for
the financial crisis, despite absolute proof that fraud was committed.
In today's America, respectable people are gangsters, and gangsters
are treated as respectable people. Bloomberg
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, China, Liu Qiyuan, U.N. Security Council,
Mali, ECOWAS, Hong Kong Monetary Authority,
Japan's Financial Services Agency, Eric Holder
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